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Results[]

Poll1642

Sunday, May 16th, 2004
Poll 1642
Division Division 32-64
Match # 42
Match Date Sunday, May 16th, 2004
Vote difference 38
Oracle
Expectations
Metal Gear Solid - 56.79%
51 for - 8 against
GameFAQs
Prediction
Metal Gear Solid - 54.77%
(22,423 brackets)

Ulti's Analysis[]

What a damned match this was. Until this match, I think the closest wire to wire poll we ever had was either Kingdom Hearts vs Soul Calibur or Tommy Vercetti vs Donkey Kong where at no point during either poll did the lead ever break 1100 votes or so. But this match was something else entirely. I believe the largest lead either game saw in this poll was around the 750 mark, possibly a little bit lower. I know for a fact that it was above 700, but not above 750. So we can at least agree on that much. Dammit creativename, do you have those update charts on your site? I can't find them ;_;

Anyway, one could make a good case for either game heading into this match. On one hand, you had the favorite in Metal Gear Solid. A lot of people, including myself, figured that Metal Gear Solid was the clear favorite in this match. After all, Solid Snake is supposedly the most popular non-Square, non-Nintendo character on this site, with the sole exception of possibly Sonic. Personally, I think that Snake would best Sonic in a poll, as Sonic the Hedgehog is a has-been. Deny it all you wish, but compare Sonic's popularity during the Genesis days to his popularity now. Sonic never has (and I doubt he ever will) recover from Poll 994. And speaking of that poll, check out the percentages between that poll and this one. They're exactly the same. Coincidence, perhaps? Maybe, but this match was far closer than Sonic vs Samus way back in 2002. Sonic had a 1500 vote lead on Samus throughout the day back then, but Metal Gear Solid could only manage a lead of ~720 in this match. But we'll get into that later. The fact here is that Metal Gear Solid was the favorite, both by board and bracketmaker standards. the biggest reasons for this would be Solid Snake's performances in past Summer Contests, as well as the release of The Twin Snakes during our contest. Metal Gear Solid was supposedly exposed to an entirely new audience on the Gamecube, and it was supposed to allow Metal Gear Solid to run away with this matchup.

...but there is a big factor to consider when one looks at how much The Twin Snakes affected this matchup. The Twin Snakes has sold roughly 150,000 copies, which doesn't seem like nearly enough to affect this poll one way or the other. And this is where Final Fantasy Tactics and its chances to win came into play. Final Fantasy Tactics is very close to the numbered series in strength. I wouldn't know where to place the game if all Final Fantasy titles were grouped together, but I know for a fact that it would be in the top five in strength. And as we all know, a strong Squaresoft RPG is dangerous in any poll, any time, anywhere, any place. You simply never underestimate a Squaresoft RPG and its fans on this site, ever. There is also the fact that Final Fantasy Tactics outperformed Metal Gear Solid in the first round. FFT managed 60,000 votes and 76% of the vote against Dance Dance Revolution, while Metal Gear Solid was only able to manage 52,700 votes and 70.6% of the total vote against Resident Evil.

Now Resident Evil is clearly stronger than Dance Dance Revolution, but by how much? Another thing to look at if you aren't a believer that FFT outperformed MGS in the first round are the total votes in the respective polls. FFT's poll scored nearly 80,000 votes, while Metal Gear Solid's poll only managed to score around 75,000 votes. Slowflake may not believe that total votes in polls matter, but I feel the opposite. Going solely by the board and prediction percentages, Metal Gear Solid was supposed to own this match. Yet Final Fantasy Tactics managed to make this poll the second closest poll of all time.

And now, for my commentary on how the match finally went. After all the incoming board hype and theories, the poll had to happen sooner or later =)

As expected, Metal Gear Solid jumped out to an early lead. It wasn't anything huge, but Metal Gear Solid managed a lead of around 720 within the first few hours of the poll. But the morning vote soon kicked in, and the real fun began to kick in. Final Fantasy Tactics began to fight back in the poll, and slowly, very slowly, it managed to slowly take votes off of the lead Metal Gear Solid had built. This pattern continued throughout the entire day. Every time Final Fantasy Tactics made a small push, Metal Gear Solid fought back to make it look like it would hold FFT off for good. But FFT kept countering these small shots all day with small shots of its own. The games went back and forth taking shots at each other all day long, but the upper hand clearly belonged to Final Fantasy Tactics. If the matches still had 15 minute updates, you would find that most of the updates would have been won by Final Fantasy Tactics in the end.

Come the evening, when the vaunted Square vote takes full effect, Metal Gear Solid had a lead of roughly 200 votes. Final Fantasy Tactics continued the pattern it had been taking throughout the contest to that point, and simply continued its methodical dismantling of Metal Gear Solid's lead. It was slow and meticulous, but Final Fantasy Tactics kept the push going. And while it seemed at times that FFT was making a fast push, the consistent counterattacks by Metal Gear Solid kept the overall movement very small. But even then, Final Fantasy Tactics made a push to bring the lead to less than 100 votes (actually, it was closer to 50 or so) in the later parts of the evening. At this point, many people of the board felt that FFT would win based solely on the pattern it had going for the entire match after falling behind by 720 votes. But sadly, I had to go to work with roughly five hours left in the poll. I did however manage to get Tanya to send me text messages all the way up until around 12:30 AM EST. From what I can gather, Final Fantasy Tactics made a decent push to try to take the lead back, but Metal Gear Solid managed to fight back to take a lead of over 100 in the match. But with a mere 150 minutes left in the poll, Final Fantasy Tactics began making a push again. It had cut the lead of 100 all the way down to 60, and it was still going strong when Tanya went to sleep. She even sent me a text saying that FFT was coming on so fast that it was probably going to win, and that she was going to go to sleep. So I worked the rest of the night under the assumption that I was coming home to a victory for Final Fantasy Tactics.

SPECIAL THANKS GO TO CREATIVENAME, STARION, AND TEAM ROCKET ELITE FOR THE REST OF THIS ANALYSIS

I couldn't have known the amazing details of what happened in the final 150 minutes without them, and I heart you guys <3

Final Fantasy Tactics made a quick push within the next few minutes to make the poll dead even between the two games. After some fighting back and forth between them, Final Fantasy Tactics made a push so that it took a lead of around 30 or so. Slowflake called the match in the favor of Final Fantasy Tactics at this point, but no sooner than he finished typing the post did Metal Gear Solid make its push to get back into the match. It pulled the poll dead even again. Soon later, it managed to push itself out to a lead of around 40 or so. But back came Final Fantasy Tactics to push the poll to being even again. But once Final Fantasy Tactics managed to do this, Metal Gear Solid counterattacked with another small push of its own. These pushes were never more than 20-30 votes or so, but in a match this close, everything mattered. This pattern continued all the way until the end of the poll. Around 2:45 EST, Final Fantasy Tactics managed to push the poll to being even again, but yet again, it was unable to make the push necessary to win the match. Metal Gear Solid made a huge push of around 50 votes or so, and since it happened that late in the poll, it meant the end for Final Fantasy Tactics in the match, and a win for Metal Gear Solid.

Now, did this writeup sound like I wasn't too into the match? Did the lack of board or site activity make it seem like few others cared all that much, either? Or what about CJayC not posting a topic saying there was no cheating? After all, those pishes from Metal Gear Solid late in the poll seemed fishy, did they not? Or what about the low vote total for the match? Close polls don't score merely 81,000 votes. Mass spamming is supposed to cause the vote totals in such matches to skyrocket. So why not in this match?

That's because despite how close this match was, few people outside of the board cared about it. Know why? Because CJayC decided to create an ad for Syphon Filter that took up the entire homepage. Even worse was the fact that the entire homepage was an ugly green color, which caused the page to be unreadable. Of course, this only worked when you used the classic layout. Users who used the new site layout didn't have to worry about the hideous new homepage, as the page blocked the ad. Users who were smart enough to view the site on 1000 pixels didn't see the ad at all, but that isn't even the point. Am I the only one who has noticed that the extra ads have stopped since the end of the contest? No shared polls, no ad-sponsored polls, no page-wide ads, nothing. The site has been normal ever since the contest ended, and why? Does it happen to be a coincidence that all of these ads happened during a contest that the leaders of our site knew would cause extra traffic? I think not, but we won't know for sure until the next contest rolls around. If the ads don't happen for awhile, then all of a sudden start up again during the next contest, we'll have our answer as to whether or not these ads have been interrupting the contest on purpose. I'll give CJayC the benefit of the doubt until such an event happens, but I will say that the Syphon Filter ad killed any and all credibility of this match. No matter who you were rooting for, a 50 vote jump right before the end of the poll is a little odd. I was rooting for Metal Gear Solid the whole way, but if the claim of 50 votes all coming in at once is true, then something should have been done about it. But no, nothing was done, and to our knowledge, there is no proof that the match was even looked into at the end. All we have are the final results, and I believe that they aren't credible because of the ad.

But in the end, Metal Gear Solid walked away a winner, and Final Fantasy Tactics walked away a loser. I walked away somewhat happy that Metal Gear Solid was the game that won, but I am flat-out disgusted by the fact that an ad may or may not have been the deciding factor in the match. The only deciding factors in these matches should be the popularity of the entities involved. Now the games have to deal with consistent, changing variables on the very site that they are being posted on? That is completely unfair to the participants in the contest, as well as the people who actually entered the contest itself.

In closing, while I may be happy that Metal Gear Solid actually won, I feel that both games were given the shaft in this poll. It's almost like the poll was given a back seat in order for the site to plaster another disgusting ad all over itself like a prostitute looking for a quick dollar. And with the crusty stains of CNET's violation comes a poll in which no one can say who truly won. And while it is well-known how big a fan of Final Fantasy Tactics I am, some of you may have caught me feverishly defending the Metal Gear series as well. I love Metal Gear Solid, and I would have liked to see an actual poll between the two games, not some freak show in which some voters may not have even known who they were voting for in the damned match.

On a more serious note, I think it is safe to say that should this match actually be legitimate, every factor in the book decided it for Metal Gear Solid. Can bracket voters can The Twin Snakes, insignificant as they both are in the large scale, be responsible for 38 votes? I'd like to think so, if for no other reason than to not say that the ad solely decided the match.

I'll say this much, however. I hope the new Syphon Filter game bombs so badly that the company that made it goes bankrupt. I refuse to adhere to selling out, ever. I stopped liking Metallica because of it, I stopped liking Korn because of it, I stopped liking Evanescence because of it, and you can also say the same about Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, and to a lesser degree, most hip hop artists. I'm a Tool fan for many reasons, one of the biggest being that they don't give a crap about you, your opinions, or the intellectual vacuum that some of you casually refer to as skulls. They make music for the benefit of enlightenment for themselves and their fans, and nothing more. And that's how everything should be. It would all be so much better if the entire world didn't revolve around money, but this match was a perfect example that the world will forever revolve around money, no matter the course of action needed. It sickens me.

Stats and Analysis[]

A very similar match to Jill vs. Peach, in that both games were particularly evenly matched, and the end result could easily have gone either way (Metal Gear Solid ended up winning by 38 votes, which was then the smallest margin of victory). However, this match saw a good deal of controversy via a giant ad being taken up where the poll normally goes for the last part of the match. Whether that contributed to the end result or not (given that the ad was for Syphon Filter, a game very similar to Metal Gear Solid) will never be known, but there was a good deal of complaining and moaning about it after the fact.

Despite this (or perhaps because of it), the match was very entertaining, with lots of late surges and pushes from behind. Another solid (no pun intended) matchup that could have gone either way.

What ultimately decided the match was Board 8's love of MGS; a strong board vote in the closing minutes proved just enough to shut Final Fantasy Tactics down for good. This wasn't the last time B8 would save the series, as the board later came to the rescue of Snake in his 2006 ToC battle against Sephiroth, as well as saving Liquid Snake's bacon against Alucard in 2007.

Match Trends[]

Graph1642

External Links[]

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2004 Spring Contest Matches

Round One
SMB3 > Metal Gear
Metroid > Pac-Man
Contra > Phantasy Star
FF > Pitfall
Donkey Kong > Duck Hunt
Zelda > Adventure
Pong > River City Ransom
Tetris > Galaga
CT > Secret of Mana
SMRPG > Street Fighter II
Sonic 2 > Shining Force
SMW > Simpsons
Zelda: LttP > Gunstar Heroes
Super Metroid > PS IV
Doom > Earthbound

FF VI > Mortal Kombat
FF VII > Suikoden II
Xenogears > Pokemon GSC
FFT > DDR
MGS > RE
SotN > Perfect Dark
Goldeneye > PDS
SM64 > NiGHTS
Zelda: OoT > Fallout 2
Starcraft > Halo
KH > Soul Calibur
Zelda: WW > Skies of Arcadia
Metroid Prime > Half-Life
FFTA > Fire Emblem
FF X > Shenmue
GTA: Vice City > KoTOR
SSBM > MGS 2

Round Two
SMB 3 > Metroid
FF > Contra
Zelda > Donkey Kong
Tetris > Pong
CT > SMRPG
SMW > Sonic 2
Zelda: LttP > Super Metroid
FF VI > Doom
FF VII > Xenogears
MGS > FFT
Goldeneye > SotN
Zelda: OoT > SM64
Starcraft > KH
Zelda: WW > Metroid Prime
FF X > FFTA
SSBM > GTA: Vice City

R3 and following
SMB3 > FF
Zelda > Tetris
CT > SMW
Zelda: LttP > FF VI
FF VII > MGS
Zelda: OoT > Goldeneye
Starcraft > Zelda: WW
SSBM > FF X
SMB3 > Zelda
CT > Zelda: LttP
FF VII > Zelda: OoT
SSBM > Starcraft
CT > SMB3
FF VII > SSBM
FF VII > CT (Finals)

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